Group of three colleagues discussing architectural plans.

ERP for Professional services businesses? 4 Reasons the answer is yes.

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP, Professional Services | No Comments
Group of three colleagues discussing architectural plans together.

Architectural firms and other professional services businesses need business management software that scales, improves communication and drives efficiency.

Professional services organizations such as law practices, accounting businesses, engineering companies or architectural firms gain significant benefits from having an effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.

Choosing an ERP that provides greater operations visibility, better communication and easier financial reporting lets principals and other staff to focus on core work.

Are you wondering whether it’s the time to invest in an ERP for professional services businesses? Four reasons why the answer is “yes” are below.

1. Operational visibility

With a professional services ERP, your firm will have a “single source of truth.” All users across the business will be using and reporting on the same data and documents. Siloed work disappears with a unified solution. This means essential functions such as project finances, resource scheduling, KPI reporting and other critical operations are consistent and synchronized with real-time data.

2. Improved communication

Using a central ERP provides for instant and seamless communication among employees and with clients. With continuous connectivity, employees can communicate with each other and clients across locations internationally. Access to data on mobile devices via apps helps external and in-office staff to collaborate in real time to boost reaction time to client inquiries or concerns. Reporting tools give you a complete view of the client relationship, no matter with whome they are interacting.

3. Accurate financial reporting

With data fed from decentralized sources into an integrated ERP, financial reporting is more accurate and timely. With all transactional, contact and outcomes data in one system, key stakeholders have a complete and consistent view of firm finances. On-demand reports provide needed information in the moment to provide accurate revenue, cost and profit information.

4. Flexibility and scalability

You need an ERP that can adjust to increases in demand or additional services. With a professional services ERP, you can adapt to changing market conditions or customer demands quickly by adding capacity or new features. You want a solution that will not slow down your growth plans but complement them.

Desktop with judges gavel and brass scale.

Acumatica’s ERP for professional services helps firms deliver on client expectations.

An ERP built for professional services firms

Acumatica’s ERP for professional services is built to address some of the most pressing challenges facing your business, including:

  • Maintaining strong relationships with clients
  • Bidding on and closing on new work
  • Delivering projects on time and on budget
  • Meeting growing client demands for more services
  • Offering competitive prices while maintaining strong profit margins

With Acumatica, you’ll have access to a suite of integrated tools designed to address key needs for your firm. Among core features are:

  • Customer Relationship Management. Sales automation, integrated marketing and a customer self-support portal give tools to serve clients better. Get a complete 360-degree view of your business with integrated financials, marketing and service.
  • Time and Expense Management. Track time spent for clients, employees, contracts and projects with mobile time entry capabilities.
  • Business Intelligence. Reporting tools drawing on real-time data for insights on projects, clients and KPIs.
  • Integrated Financials. Manage your entire financial department within the ERP, using a single source of truth for general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, deferred revenue, tax management and human resources.

Integrating your company’s operations in an ERP designed to address critical industry needs is why so many professional services firms choose Acumatica. At NexTec, we help companies identify the right business software, develop an implementation plan, and optimize your investment. Find out how Acumatica stacks up against the leading systems on the market in this free report.

industry ERP editions

The right ERP for your industry

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP | No Comments
Executive Priorities Operational ERP

ERP products are easier to integrate and customize for the unique needs of an industry, reducing the reliance on the traditional niche vendors.

When people talk about industry-focused solutions, what do they mean? A basic product with a couple modifications or a truly customized solution? The ERP market has evolved and it’s no longer an either-or dilemma—you can find a solution for your unique niche even from products that didn’t set out with your industry as the only focus.

How the market evolved

Considering the sheer age of the software landscape—solutions designed to control finance and operational processes have been around for the past half-century—the design and delivery of products has evolved. Calculating machines of the 1940s gave way to Material Requirements Planning (MRP) in the 1970s, MRP-II in the 80s, and initial ERP applications in the 90s.

The move from function-oriented to all-inclusive creates niche products

Looking at this history, you’ll notice that initial solutions were designed for a specific process. MRP did what it needed to do, using the technology of the time to complete a specific function. Time passed, processing power increased, and products became more centralized.

The rise of consolidated suite-based solutions in the 90s also created a market for niche products—while generic ERP suites offered generalized functionality, medium and large businesses could find industry- and niche-specific products. Designed with a specific business user in mind, these provided depth in specific areas and the companies who sold these products spoke the language of the industry.

The move from niche to postmodern ERP

The market again evolved, due in part to technological advancements and industry consolidations. By the mid-2000s, companies were able to provide better, more focused versions of generic ERP, and by the early 2010s, the concept of “postmodern ERP” came into play. These products are easier to integrate and customize for the unique needs of an industry, reducing the reliance on the traditional niche vendors.

Today’s products: More customizable and integrated than ever

While many niche ERP vendors still exist, they no longer hold the same allure as today’s cloud solutions. Flexible, customizable, and ready to work with a variety of third-party solutions, postmodern ERP solutions are deconstructed into personalized sets of integrated business functions.

Like the best-in-breed approach, the goal is to use the best applications possible in each area of a business. However, like the modern suite-approach, the applications must integrate with each other, as tightly or loosely as necessary, to preserve data integrity. This flexible approach allows for quick, easy customization of their cloud ERP system.

Added to this, thanks to vendors’ channel partners, customers still get the depth, experience, and expertise from people who speak the industry lingo and know how to make the product work for a specific company.

Acumatica Cloud ERP: ‘Building blocks’ make industry-specific products easier than ever

One of the top solutions used by businesses today for the exact reasons mentioned above is Acumatica Cloud ERP. Not only is it designed as a powerful solution that can ‘do it all’ for businesses, the company improves its products with industry editions that allow you to get a product ready for your unique niche. This is done in four ways:

Industry editions

Acumatica starts with a strong core. However, the thing that makes Acumatica unique is the unique industry editions. In this, Acumatica’s flexibility extends beyond the adaptability of the functionality and deployment, into deciding what suites of Acumatica ERP to license.

Industry editions are a starting point for the rest of the product, allowing businesses to choose one of six suites from which the product is customized. Each of these—General business, distribution, manufacturing, construction, commerce, and field service—offer core functionality included in the suite but allow for the addition of nearly any other module for another.

For example, a distribution company can start with Acumatica Distribution Edition, but could just as easily add commerce integrations or warehouse management from the outset or whenever they need to add it. Learn how Acumatica can be tailored to your unique business needs here.

Acumatica extensions

While industry editions provide a great starting point, there are likely scenarios in which you may need to use a product you already have or a solution you may want to use. Through their marketplace, Acumatica Extensions, companies interested in out of the box solutions can find the connectors and integrations they need.

Partner-developed integrations

Maybe the industry editions and the marketplace aren’t enough; Acumatica is ready for that as well. Acumatica empowers its developer network by providing them with the tools and code base to create integrations as tight or as loose as your business needs. Need a Salesforce-Acumatica integration? Not a problem. Acumatica Partners have the skills to build the products you need.

The right partner

While all of this may sound great, many may still be on the fence on leaving an industry-specific ERP for one reason—the knowledge. Companies who focus on industry-specific ERP specialize in that market, and you may think that your average VAR can’t match it. Not true.

With the exclusively channel-based partner model, you can rest assured that they put a great deal of effort into making the program a success. With this vast, diverse network of focused partners, you are easily able to find the right partner to deliver your software, who has the skills, size, and experience to get the job done.

When you work with an Acumatica Partner, you work with a company who puts your needs first, who gets to know your business inside and out so that they can deliver a customized product that matches your needs.

NexTec knows how to help you and has the skills to work with your business—no matter how unique your needs. Get to know more about the work we do and contact us for a free consultation.

Outgrowing QuickBooks Needs

Outgrowing QuickBooks: How to determine your current and future needs

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP, Replace old software | No Comments
Outgrowing QuickBooks Needs

Early discussions and needs documentation could help you to reduce costs and better understand who is best qualified to help you move from QuickBooks to a new solution.

Going from accounting software to Enterprise Resource Planning software is a big decision and an important step for growing businesses. This is an exciting time for your company, but it also might be a bit stressful—especially if you are pushing past the limits of your current product. However, at this stage, the only thing worse than inaction is hastily jumping into a decision without all of the facts—something you can overcome with a bit of planning.

Following our last two blogs documenting the warning signs and steps to communicate a change, we would today like to discuss another important concept: Understanding what you need.

In our last blog, we touched on the basics of communication, noting that by speaking with your users, you will be able to weed out bad fit products, increase project optimism, and instill a sense of project ownership among those most likely to balk at a change.

Notably, this isn’t all. Early discussions and needs documentation could help you to reduce costs and better understand who is best qualified to help you implement a solution.

Why it’s so important to know what you need before you implement

It’s well known that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is an investment in the long-term future of your business, and while it will pay for itself over time, the price tag compared to an entry level product like QuickBooks may seem high.

However, these costs are nowhere near as high as the costs that pop up from last minute changes in the scope of a project—something common that occurs when companies rush into a project, only to get distracted by the bells and whistles that could be added.

Luckily, with the right planning and project framework, you can approach your project confidently and well informed, with a “broad strokes” strategy in place before you start looking at solutions.

Knowing where you are and where you expect to be in ten years

In this, it’s important to speak with team members, end users, and department representatives to determine where your business currently stands and where you want it to be.

Outlining a project strategy

After discussing the changes on the horizon with users, the next major step in the ERP planning process—before you even speak with vendors or implementation partners—is to outline the project strategy. In this step, you will only need to outline the general shape and form of your ERP selection and implementation project, later detailing specifics.

Project planning starts with a statement of the purpose of the project, the goals and objectives – another way to state the benefits, not necessarily in terms of monetary return but rather in how it will affect the organization and the users, their efficiency and effectiveness. In essence, what do you hope to achieve in your first few months with the software?

Documenting a starting point

From here, it pays to understand where your business currently sits. What systems do you have in place? How is your data structured? Ultimately, ask yourself, “where does the business stand?” In their guide to Navigating ERP Selection and Implementation, Acumatica notes that “one thing that is often neglected is to take baseline measurements, including things like:

  • Inventory levels by type (raw materials, work-in-process, finished goods by type)
  • Inventory accuracy
  • On-time production completion
  • Production lead time
  • Customer service level

Additionally, you should look at your current database, identify errors and deficiencies, and plan how much data clean-up is required and what it takes to get it done.

Discussing what features are important (both now and in the future)

Now comes the part where you and your users need to think about their ideal solution. What should a new ERP system accomplish? What processes can it automate? What kind of integration should it provide? What problems does the current system have that you can’t afford to have after implementation?

With the help of your end users and department representatives, identify the specific system functions needed in the new system and break them into the following four categories:

  • What is an absolute requirement?
  • Which capabilities are highly desirable?
  • What kind of functionality is not needed now but important in the foreseeable future?
  • Which features are cool or nice to have but are not essential?

The goal here is to think up a minimum viable product, knowing that many of those ‘nice to have features’ might be more affordable or easier to get than you think. Added to this, thanks to the flexibility of Cloud ERP, know that even if you don’t choose to implement a specific feature today, you can always add it in the future.

For example, if you’re a distributor looking to move into the eCommerce world but haven’t officially set out on the journey, you don’t need to implement the functionality at the outset. Not sure where to start? This free checklist will discuss some of the basic features included in ERP software and can be used throughout the entire process to compare products.

What’s next? The journey beyond QuickBooks

The decision to implement ERP at your growing business is not one to be taken lightly. However, with the right advice and product, the move to implement such a product can go more smoothly than you initially expected.

For our growing midsized clients, we recommend Acumatica, a solution that features flexible deployment, scalable resource-based pricing, and the functionality and usability you need. We invite you to learn more about our work, compare QuickBooks to Acumatica using this helpful tool, and contact us to discuss your needs and learn more about your next steps.

Webinar: Streamline compliance with modern ERP

By | Chemicals, Events, Food and Beverage, Pharmaceutical / Nutraceutical, Sage X3, Upcoming Webcasts | No Comments

Staying current with complex mandates and regulations is one of the biggest challenges faced by food manufacturers. Tune in Thursday, September 26 as we join the independent advisors from Ultra Consultants for an educational webinar that puts the focus on this important topic.

We know that staying educated on the best way to meet ever-increasing rules and regulations keeps your organization operating at peak performance. That’s why this session is so important. See how modern ERP plays a critical role in supporting compliance and automating required documentation and processes.

We’ll demonstrate the key features needed to improve functions such as:

  • Lot attributes
  • Traceability
  • Recall
  • Quality checkpoints
  • Complaint management

Can’t attend that day? Register to receive an archived recording of the event, perfect for Food and Beverage, Pharma and Chemical project teams interested in an ERP transformation project.

Join our webcast
Workers installing solar panels.

Acumatica helps you address these 5 field services challenges

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP, Field Services | No Comments
Workers installing solar panels.

The right business software helps ensure field techs have the tools and equipment necessary.

Field services companies face unique challenges, from data integration and maintenance management to scheduling, dispatching and route management.

Managing these challenges requires a business software designed for the field services industry. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) product like the Acumatica Cloud ERP Field Service Edition provides functionality designed specifically to meet those challenges head-on.

Here’s a closer look at how Acumatica helps you address these 5 field services challenges.

1. First-time fix rates

Returning to a customer to redo work is costly. Often return work is due to poor, inaccurate or incomplete information about the customer’s problem, inaccurate location data, incorrect equipment or a mismatch with technician skills.

2. Scheduling predictive repairs

Sensors installed in equipment are able to alert your business when needed repairs are critical. Businesses that can respond promptly to these issues using the Internet of Things and wireless technologies can prevent larger repairs.

3. Managing service contracts and warranties

Maintaining the revenue from service contracts means tracking expiration dates and managing appointments and service calls. Warranty information needs to be integrated with other functions, including sales and customer service, while accurate tracking of what parts are under warranty is critical.

4. Emergency service calls

Emergencies can derail technician scheduling, route optimization and equipment availability. A field services ERP should provide the right integrations to minimize the disruptions.

5. Siloed data

Field services companies that keep customer data, processes, scheduling and finance in separate systems are working from behind. An ERP solution integrates data from myriad functional areas and systems, giving all employees a 360-degree, transparent look at operations, customers and information.

With mobile solutions, Acumatica’s field service ERP delivers needed information in real time to field techs.

How Acumatica Cloud ERP Field Service Edition solves common problems

Acumatica’s field services ERP solution is designed to solve common and complex problems in the industry. The main benefits and features include:

  • Scheduling, dispatching and call center management to expedite responses with accurate service needs, customer information and history, and create or modify schedules
  • Route planning using Google Maps to optimize resources. The module includes route plotting for service techs, lists of required equipment or machines, and real-time adjustments to reflect traffic conditions that are sent to the technician’s mobile device
  • Mobile service management with mobile apps for Android and iOS, with instant access to service information and customer data
  • Emergency service call integration using visual tools to add unplanned calls and send changes to the technician
  • Equipment maintenance records for each piece or machine installed at a customer’s site, including manufacturer, model, configuration, necessary repair parts and preventative maintenance schedules and orders
  • Inventory management to track the locations and costs of tools and parts that are spread across warehouses and vehicles
  • Warranty management to track simple and multidimensional contracts 
  • Project cost tracking 
  • Personalized dashboards
  • Business intelligence insights

Acumatica knows the issues and challenges for the field services industry and has developed the ERP that meets critical needs. At NexTec, we help businesses identify, select, install and optimize their investments in key software solutions. Our experts work regularly with Acumatica solutions that make a difference. To learn more, take the Acumatica Product Tour.

Person in a warehouse typing on a tablet.

What cannabis distributors do and how Sage X3 helps

By | Cannabis, ERP, Sage X3 | No Comments
Person in a warehouse typing on a tablet.

Cannabis distribution companies need ERP solutions that simplify complex business operations.

As the demand for cannabis products continues to climb dramatically, distribution companies have become a more essential component of the supply chain. As cannabis distribution companies become more prevalent, there’s an increasing need for powerful business management solutions.

Distribution software, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) products, are among the most valuable for the emerging cannabis distribution field. Here’s a closer look at what cannabis distributors do and how Sage X3 helps.

Why the cannabis industry needs distributors

Just like in any complex, large-scale industry, the cannabis business finds itself needing distribution management partners. Doing so allows growers, dispensaries, and makers of concentrates and edibles focus on core business needs.

In many cases, distributors act simply as third-party shippers. However, others have begun to specialize in raw flower to sell to both manufacturers and dispensaries. Others act more broadly, offering a range of products.

Cannabis plants and glass container with oil.

Cannabis distributors need to track many details about plants and products.

The need for robust cannabis ERP solutions

As the cannabis industry generally and distribution specifically continue growth patterns, business management solutions become more urgent. Consider, for example, the business functions that growing distribution companies need:

  • Inventory management. Regulators, law enforcement and customers expect rigorous controls to document and track product.
  • Regulatory compliance. Distributors, like other players in the cannabis industry, are open to significant compliance mandates across multiple jurisdictions. The right ERP can track the various mandates and automate the data collection and reporting required.
  • Quality assurance. Distributors need to be able to track batches to ensure that products can be traced back to producers, especially for those that fail QA checks. Packaging and labeling are other functions that require accuracy and precision, pulling from data stored in a cannabis ERP.
  • Tax collection. Distributors in many jurisdictions are responsible for collecting cultivation and excise taxes and remit payments to taxation authorities. Your ERP needs to provide tools to document rates, payments, banks and other details.
  • Sales and marketing. Distributors are able to market on behalf of cannabis producers
  • Business intelligence. Distributors know what’s selling and what’s not. They can provide valuable data to cultivators on sales, volume and price.

Without an ERP designed to support the cannabis industry, your distribution company will need to pay for customizations or add-ons that add complexity and cost to your business.

Selecting the right cannabis ERP

When choosing a cannabis ERP for your distribution company, you want a company that understands your industry. With Sage X3, your business can deliver what’s necessary for success. Among the key functions of the Sage solution are:

  • Seed-to-sale traceability
  • Inventory tracking
  • Automated compliance tools, including integration with state and provincial regulatory systems
  • Environmental data tracking
  • Financial management
  • Shipment coordination
  • Customer and product analytics
  • Forward and backward traceability

Sage X3 has been at the forefront of cannabis business management solutions. NexTec helps cannabis businesses with the deployment and optimization of cannabis ERP software.

NexTec helps companies assess their critical business needs and select the ERP solution that solves business needs. Take a free tour of Sage X3 to learn more.

Two workers with blue hardhats looking at a laptop together.

Why Acumatica makes the most sense for oilfield services companies

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP, Oilfield Services | No Comments
Two workers with hard hats looking at a laptop together.

ERP solutions help oilfield services companies manage costs, assets and data.

Oilfield services are complex, requiring the rapid requisition and deployment of equipment such as pipes, drilling tools and accessories. Add in services like premium couplings and pipe threading and it’s a high-stakes industry, with millions on the line.

Oilfield companies need to work fast and be precise, with no room for error in some cases. That means oilfield companies need the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that combines operations and oil and gas accounting software in one comprehensive product.

With extensive experience providing industry-specific ERP solutions, it’s clear why Acumatica makes the most sense for oilfield services companies.

What oilfield services companies need

Given the complex, high-pressure work, oilfield services businesses need an ERP software solution that addresses particular needs, including:

Project management

Oilfield services companies are often involved in complex onshore or offshore projects, often as joint ventures with other business entities. An industry-specific ERP solution allows companies to manage those projects accurately, with transparency, real-time reporting and project accounting functions. The ideal ERP solution helps with supply chain management, financial obligations and regulatory compliance.

Data integration

Many oilfield operations are plagued by data challenges, including information stored in multiple applications, devices, currencies and formats. An ERP solution streamlines the storage of, access to, and formatting of data in a centralized database. Data can be integrated into third-party applications, protected in transit and at rest, and provide accurate views of costs, progress, schedules and production. Access to this information helps multiple enterprise departments, including finance, sales, marketing, field operations and analytics.

Asset management

In an oilfield, there are many assets to be tracked, maintained and valued. Using an ERP platform, companies can manage assets in real time, using sensors, automation and the connected objects to record information, detect maintenance issues early and reduce lost production time.

Cost control

Managing costs for each project is important, especially when projects are under way at multiple sites. Your ERP solution should manage supply and demand chains to control costs, reduce waste, and keep a close eye on overhead, labor and operating expenses. Cost management allows for high-level views of project costs, regulatory compliance and higher profit margins.

Man with a red hardhat fixing equipment.

Your oilfield services ERP solution needs to integrate processes and departments to provide real-time data and reporting for better decisions.

The Acumatica ERP in action

Recently, Acumatica helped OFS International LLC upgrade an outdated accounting system. The company had purchased the assets of one of the world’s top producers of tubular products, which had major problems with its inventory management, manufacturing operations and accounting. For example, there were basic accounting functions lacking and the inventory system was not integrated with the accounting solution.

Other problems included an inability to track sales orders due to ill-timed customer invoicing and inventory management that was based on what seemed to be in the yard at any given time.

After installing Acumatica solutions, OFS International saw immediate results, including:

  • Cost savings of more than $400,000 by eliminating user fees and customization charges
  • Improved operational, financial and inventory transparency
  • A structural foundation that could scale rapidly for better field operations management

At NexTec, we help oilfield services companies with the selection, implementation and optimization of Acumatica products. Take the Acumatica Product Tour to learn more.


Business intelligence in ERP software: What to look for

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, BI, BI360, ERP | No Comments
Business Intelligence ERP Software

Whether you are in the market for a BI tool that is built into an ERP solution or are looking for one that augments ERP by connecting it with a wide variety of applications, it’s important to understand what you need and how to get it.

Business Intelligence (BI) has grown and evolved to deliver end users and decision makers with more information and better insights. Once considered an inaccessible product for many growing businesses, today’s BI solutions are designed to work for your company—in fact, many ERP solutions have expanded their BI offerings in recent years to compete with notable BI vendors.

Whether you are in the market for a BI tool that is built into an ERP solution or are looking for one that augments ERP by connecting it with a wide variety of applications, it’s important to understand what you need and how to get it.

Some BI functionality now available in most ERPs

Nearly every ERP system on the market now also offers a BI module to provide visibility into your business. However, not every ERP solution offers the same level of BI detail or functionality. While the ERP may be able to provide end users and decision makers with attractive dashboards, you need to make sure it can offer what you need or find out how you can get it.

Out-of-box reports may not deliver everything you need

Every ERP solution delivers reports out of the box, but the real question is “How many reports are available and which ones matter to your company?” Acumatica delivers 250+ standard reports out of the box, with many more custom reports available. Need a report now? Not a problem. You can get it with just a few clicks. Want it to schedule on the 1st and 15th of every month? Go for it. A BI tool connected to your ERP can take it further, giving you more detailed, in-depth reports that are customized to your needs.

BI is more than dashboards

Dashboards offer a way to visualize complex data through widgets that can display a wide variety of data types, but sometimes the dashboard provided in an ERP system isn’t detailed enough to give you the data you need. If that is true for your ERP, consider connecting a more advanced BI tool that can take your dashboards a step further, using analytics and data warehouse/data mining capabilities to give more depth and insight to your dashboards. Learn more about how business intelligence works in this helpful whitepaper, Business intelligence: More than a dashboard.

Consider KPIs to keep your business on track

One of the best ways to get the most out of a BI tool is to determine your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will track where your business wants to go and how you plan to get there. Make sure the BI tool offered in your ERP can track the KPIs you want and give you the ability to hone in on the core data you need to ensure whether your business is on the right path or if corrections are needed.

Look for a single version of the truth to make collaboration easier

Spreadsheets are slow even if only one person is editing a document, but adding multiple editors can cause even more confusion and miscommunication. Whether you’re reporting or forecasting, you can’t spend hours trying to reconcile a mishmash of spreadsheets from across the organization after one department starts working on a prior version and everyone follows suit.

The best way to solve the problem and make budgeting easier is to gather all the data together in a BI tool that will give you a complete view of the company, instead of isolated glimpses of various departments that spreadsheets provide. BI360 is one such tool. It can connect directly to Acumatica Cloud ERP and the out-of-box workflow tools can provide data from key departments for real-time decision making and budgeting.

Cloud BI will give you the information you need—when and where you need it

Today’s business operates across borders, time zones, and currencies—not everyone can be online or in the same place at the same time. Luckily, mobile, cloud-based BI solutions make your data available to everyone whether they are in Tampa, Toronto, or Tacoma. Everyone stays on the same page and can access critical business intelligence from their computers, tablets, or mobile devices.

BI through NexTec—Talk to a business intelligence expert today

NexTec Group believes that an informed decision is a smart one, and helping organizations implement business intelligence software solutions that will allow them to succeed is our specialty.

Whether that solution is part of your ERP solution like Acumatica or a product customized and implemented to work alongside it including Solver BI360 or one of the many options we offer, we know how to help.

At NexTec Group we help companies like yours streamline processes, increase efficiency, and achieve complete visibility to maximize your bottom line. We work with your organization to deliver on time and on budget solutions that you can trust. Through manpower, mindshare and business expertise, NexTec delivers. Get in touch, we’re here to help you choose and implement the right BI solution for your business.

Food ERP

How your ERP helps your preparedness in the event of a product recall

By | ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments
Woman pouring a glass of wine from a barrel.

Food ERP software gives you more accuracy in and access to quality control information.

No food manufacturer wants to face the harsh reality of a product recall. However, your company can minimize the sting and uncertainty of a recall event by having the tools and plans in place.

One of the most effective tools is enterprise resource planning software (ERP), which can provide you with the processes, tracking and reporting mechanisms and information you need in a moment of crisis. See how your ERP helps your preparedness in the event of a product recall.

Heightened awareness and regulations

Food manufacturers no longer need to simply wait to respond to a recall. With an ERP in place that supports traceability and recall, you are better equipped to prepare, prevent and minimize recalls.

Customers today are more aware of the sourcing of, ingredients in and processes used to make their food. Couple that awareness with increased regulatory mandates, including the Food Safety Modernization Act, and you have more reasons than ever to focus on preparedness.

Person cutting up a yellow bell pepper and placing in a glass dish.

A food ERP helps to trace ingredients and byproducts throughout the supply chain.

What an ERP offers

With an ERP at the core of your recall management strategy, you’ll already be prepared, during and after a recall event. Here’s how.

Risk mitigation. The FSMA mandates that manufacturers identify risks, implement solutions and document the entire process. These controls are required from farm to fork, necessitating an ERP that can track details throughout the supply chain.

Process controls. With documented processes and tracking, you can identify critical control points where problems can surface.

Quality control. Automated tools help you conduct inspections and record the results, alerting you to non-compliant products and ingredients, preventing them from entering the food chain.

Inventory management. A single source of truth for warehouse operations helps to manage ingredients and sources.

Emergency readiness. With a food ERP like Sage X3 in place, you can be ready for any recall issue, with the following features available:

  • Recipe management that records attributes for every ingredient, the lot numbers, batches, dates and amounts used for every product
  • Byproduct tracking to provide more traceability
  • Capacity scheduling that manages equipment and machines to prevent cross-contamination
  • Notification management that issues recall letters, creates call lists for sales reps and customer relations staff

In the event of a recall, time is of the essence. With the right food ERP, you can gain access to the data you need, the scope of the recall and the details that customers, officials and regulators will expect.

Preparing with mock recalls

An actual recall is not the first time your business should be putting in place your recall management plan. A mock recall program helps your business in myriad ways:

  • Test traceability details by evaluating the product journey through your supply chain
  • Confirm that communications plans give you accurate contact information for suppliers, customers and partners
  • Refine your plans based on the mock recall results

By identifying a product to be traced and retrieved, assembling a recall team, creating a recall plan, and conducting and evaluating the mock recall, your business will be better prepared.

At NexTec, we help businesses identify, install and optimize business management software. We offer a solution that enhances your ERP product recall functions with advanced features that enhance your solution.

Learn more about NexTec’s Product Recall module for Sage X3.

Additional food resources

NexTec 2019 food & beverage manufacturing industry study overview

Add Sage to your food and beverage ERP recipe

How the right ERP solution reduces food waste

Farming inspecting his crops.

NexTec 2019 food & beverage manufacturing industry study overview

By | ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments
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Locally sourced products are a popular consumer trend driving increasing use of technology in the food and beverage industry.

In its recently released study of technology trends in the food and beverage industry, NexTec reveals what tools are being used, what technology improvements are needed, and the influence of regulations, social media and dietary demands.

In this NexTec 2019 Food & Beverage Manufacturing Industry Study overview, we take a closer look at what industry leaders are saying about their technical uses and needs.

Finding 1: Advanced technologies in widespread use

Manufacturers have moved beyond simple solutions, though those basic tools are still in use. As they are selecting and installing more advanced business software solutions, nearly 4 in 10 are relying on outside expertise such as a consulting firm or co-manufacturing partner.

Here are the most prevalent advanced technologies in use to manage their business:

  • Warehouse Management System (WMS) (77 percent)
  • Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP) (77 percent)
  • Material Requirements Planning software (MRP) (73 percent)

Despite more businesses using advanced tools, there are still a large number of companies using spreadsheets (77 percent), QuickBooks (47 percent) or other operational, financial and accounting software (44 percent).

Finding 2: Food safety, compliance, quality management still lacking

Respondents identified several areas where they believe additional functionality and improvement are needed. The area with the largest percentage of respondents indicating “significant improvements” was food safety, compliance and quality management, with 25 percent (up 25 percent from the 2018 survey). Overall, the areas where moderate or significant improvements are most needed are:

  • Food safety, compliance and quality management (60 percent)
  • Tracking, traceability and recall planning (60 percent)
  • Supplier and purchasing management (54 percent)
  • Inventory and warehouse management (54 percent)
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Food and beverage companies are seeing a positive impact on compliance mandates via installed or planned new technologies.

Finding 3: Changes (actual and planned) having an impact

Companies that have deployed new technology or are planning to believe that the changes will have a positive effect on the following areas:

  • Compliance (87 percent)
  • Quality assurance (80 percent)
  • Sustainability and the environment (80 percent)
  • Internet of Things (79 percent)
  • Big data and business intelligence (76 percent)
  • Traceability (74 percent)
  • Cloud computing and software as a service (74 percent)
  • Artificial intelligence (71 percent)
  • Online selling and shopping (66 percent)
  • Recyclable packaging (64 percent)

Reduction of plastic is a top priority, with 54 percent having reduced usage of plastic packaging or planning to do so.

Finding 4: Dietary trends reshaping business needs

Several dietary trends have had a positive impact on respondents’ companies, likely due to the use of new technology that can act on changing demands quickly. The trends having the greatest positive impacts are:

  • Fresh foods (74 percent)
  • Non-GMO products (74 percent)
  • Snacking and eating on the go (71 percent)
  • Artisanal, craft and locally sources products (65 percent)
  • Clean label products – fewer processed ingredients (64 percent)
  • Allergens (64 percent)
  • Vegetarian, vegan and organic products (63 percent)
  • Sugar reduction (61 percent)
  • Gluten-free products (61 percent)
  • Ethnic foods (53 percent)

Of note is that allergens was the only trends where companies reported a significant negative impact on operations (12 percent).

In general, the most common changes companies are implementing are employee education (72 percent) and installing new or upgraded food ERP (66 percent), MRP (54 percent) or WMS (48 percent) software.

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in how food and beverage companies do business. At NexTec, we help companies identify, implement and optimize business software solutions. To learn how NexTec can assist with your technology needs, read our recent study on the food industry.

We also invite you to learn More about ERP

Additional food resources

How your ERP helps your preparedness in the event of a product recall

Optimize food and beverage ops: Integrate ERP, CRM, and supply chain

Food and beverage inventory management: How to take control